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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFICACY, BENEFITS AND APPLICATION CONSTRAINTS OF PREPAID METERS IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFICACY, BENEFITS AND APPLICATION CONSTRAINTS OF PREPAID METERS IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to find out the efficacy, benefit and application constraints of the prepaid meters in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC). The aim of this research is to find out the benefits of the use of prepaid meter in EEDC, determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the prepaid meter in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and to identify the constraints of using prepaid meter in Enugu State. The researcher adopted a descriptive survey research design; three research questions were formulated to guide the study. A total population of 901,600 whereas the sample size for the study was 400. The data collected instrument was 15 item questionnaires that was structured on a four likert rating scale. data were collected and analyzed. Based on the analysis it was revealed that the introduction of the pre-paid meter increases the revenue collection, it reduces revenue generation because it is reliability based improving power reliability will increase revenue generation in the prepaid. It ensures that the consumer pays only for energy consumed and not the estimated bill in post paid as can be seen in the large standard deviation in the units of energy consumed.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Electrical energy consumption needs to be measured in order to determine the monetary value of a particular consumption thus the needs for energy meter arise. Energy meter is a device used to measure the electricity supply and consumption of a particular area, it may be an electromechanically meter which responds to energy passing through it by motion of their parts (discs) at a speed proportional to the quantity of energy flowing through it (Mohankumar,2013). It can be an electronic meter that do not involve motion of any part, but motion by pulses in form of light that flashes at rates proportional to the energy flowing through it or may an electronic programmable meter called prepaid meter that incorporate microprocessors (artificial brains) such that they can execute instruction input into them, using computers.

In this study, attention is only paid to electronic programmable meters referred to as intelligent electronic meter or prepayment energy meters or pay as you use energy meters. Prepayment energy metering in its simplest form refers to paying for energy before it is used. The customer purchases credit token and recharges, once the amount or unit is exhausted the meter automatically disconnects the supply after providing an alarm. The consumer can reconnect himself by buying more electricity units and recharging the meter. Generally, the available balance is calculated on the meter itself and the meter serves as the medium to communicate with the consumer.

Prepaid kwh meters are gaining acceptance worldwide while electromechanical meter is losing ground at increasing speed; prepaid meters offer many advantages, such as higher accuracy across wider range, additional features at very little or no extra cost, and smaller size prepaid energy meters have been in use for a long time, initially in the analog form with stopper motor counters. The features of a modern prepaid meter can be divided into two major functions – the metering circuit and the feature part.

The feature part is usually based on a standard micor-controller.

Microcontrollers for Metering Applications
Applications Products Key Features
Electricity Meter: Single-Phase, Two-Phase, Three-Phase• Kinetis MKM3x/1x• ARM® Cortex®-M0+ core upto 50 MHz

• 24-bit sigma-delta ADC, internal 1.2 V reference voltage 10-15 ppm/C 6-ch 12-bit SAR for auxiliary measurement, 2x analog comparator

• LCD controller

• Low power, security features

Metering Applications Processor• Kinetis MK21, MK30, MK60• ARM Cortex-M4 core up to 120 MHz, FPU (MK21), up to 1 M byte program flash, up to 128 k bytes RAM, security features
Anti-Tamper

User Interface

Air Flow, Liquid Level

• Accelerometers: MMA845xQ,

• Proximity sensors: MPR121, MPR03x

• Pressure sensors: MP3V5004, MPX12

• Power management: MC34704

• Low power consumption, competitive price positioning

• Low power consumption, cost-effective, reduced mechanical dimensions

Power Management IC• Power management unit IC: MC13892, MC33730• Regulated voltages for Kinetis microcontrollers, MCU monitoring and fail-safe support

[SmartEnergyhttp://cache.freescale.com/files/industrial/doc/brochure/BRSMRT ENERGY.pdf]

Metering Circuit

The Microcontroller AT89S52 acts as the primary controller. The primary controller collects information from energy meter as well as from the smart card. Here, switches are used instead of the IC. Smart card, which is the switch, gives information about the limitation of units. The energy meter reading is compared with the smart card information by the microcontroller. Depending upon the result, the microcontroller will activate the buzzer if the credit is low and the Controller will trigger the Relay if the credit goes very low. The relay is the switching device to cut off and restore power supply. The LCD is interfaced to microcontroller using parallel port connection. The microcontroller based system, continuously records the readings. The coding emphasizes the fact that it reduces human labour but increases the efficiency in calculation of bills for used electricity. The user can be notified about the low balance in their credit with the help of the GSM module. The GSM modem is serially connected with the controller which is the major communication module between user and meter. The GSM uses its own network for the transfer of information. The programming makes use of messaging features of GSM AT command. And, once the relay is triggered, the electricity supply will be cut off. The power will be supplied again only if the meter is recharged with enough credit.

Figure 5 Circuit diagram of prepaid energy meter

To the below diagram GSM technology is included to send messages to the customer about the balance amount and if the amount is totally used up then we shut down the power after alerting user.

[Prepaid Energy Meter with GSM Technology Jubi.K, Mareena John Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering PSG College of Technology Peelamedu, Coimbatore, India http://iasir.net/AIJRSTEM papers/AIJRSTEM13-271.pdf]

The metering section calculates the power consumption from the voltage and current values supplied to the load. The current information is usually taken through a “current sensor”, which is often a short resistor or a current transformer or a sensor-based element, the voltage information is usually taken from the main voltage through a voltage divider.

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in 2007 introduced the use of prepaid meter to enable Nigerian consumers derive satisfaction for their money and increase accountability, The calculated power is integrated over time, which then represents the energy consumed; the electronic prepaid meter introduced by EEDC is an electronic device that enables an energy consumer to pay for energy before actually using it Okafor, (2016). Since 2007, when EEDC introduced the prepaid meters, it happens that not all energy consumers have gotten his own prepaid meter. This becomes a thing of concern and the reason for this situation is the major concern of this study.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFICACY, BENEFITS AND APPLICATION CONSTRAINTS OF PREPAID METERS IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

­­­­­­Statement of the Problem

Electricity distribution companies of which the EEDC incorporated is among were set up in 2014 by the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to solve the problem of power in the economic development of the nation. Despite the setting up of these electricity distribution companies, the economy has not reached its peak. This is because of these distribution companies which are charged with responsibility of electricity supply in Nigeria of which EEDC is in charge of the Southeast region and also implementing of government policies on the usage and billing of energy generated have not lived up to expectation. These companies among other functions are in charge of the distribution and installation of prepaid meters which the masses having known of its advantages are interested in and are paying for but most have not gotten. This has been a problem since the introduction of the prepaid meter by the EEDC in 2007. Worthy of mention is the problem of the scarcity of the prepaid meter itself and meter vulnerability due to tampering which is a set back for EEDC. Therefore, this study hope to examine the efficacy and application constraints of prepaid meters in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy, Benefits and application constraints of prepaid meters in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company – specifically the study seeks to:

  1. Find out the benefits of the use of prepaid meter in EEDC
  2. Determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the prepaid meter in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)
  3. Identify the constraints of using prepaid meter in Enugu State.

Significance of the Study

This study will beneficial to the electricity consumers, the in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) staffs and members and also to future researchers.

Consumers: The findings of the study would aid customers to know the numerous advantages of using the prepaid meters, appreciate these advantages and strive to possess their own prepaid meter. It is assumed that when customers know this, this study will also give an orientation into the negative effects of tampering of these meters have on the Nigeria.

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Staffs: The study will be beneficial to the staffs of EEDC in terms of accessing requisite data on why their work has been frustrating so far. It is assumed too that the findings of this study would aid field staff to identify the many ways which these meters can be tampered with and stop it from happening.

Future Researchers: The results of this study would be an addition to the existing body of knowledge as a reference point since it is a new topic of study. It is hoped that the findings of this study would be a resource material to further researchers who may study prepaid meter and tariff system in the energy sector. The data contained herein may be a veritable tool to achieving their aim.

Scope of the Study

This study examined the efficacy, benefits and application constraints of the prepaid meter in Enugu electricity distribution company (EEDC). It is aimed at determining the benefits of the use of prepaid meter in EEDC, to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the prepaid meter in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and also to identify the constraints of using prepaid meter in Enugu State.

Research questions

The following research questions guided the study

  1. What are the benefits of the use of prepaid meter in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)?
  2. What determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the prepaid meter in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)?

What are the constraints of prepaid meter?

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFICACY, BENEFITS AND APPLICATION CONSTRAINTS OF PREPAID METERS IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

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